The Angels informed reporters, including Sam Blum of The Athletic and Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, that right-hander José Marte has a stress reaction in his right elbow. He’ll be shut down for the next four weeks at least. The good news is that testing showed his ulnar collateral ligament is not damaged.
Marte, 27 in June, came over to the Angels from the Giants in the July 2021 Tony Watson trade and was selected to their roster shortly thereafter. Since then, he’s served as a frequently-optioned depth arm for the club. He’s posted an unsightly 7.80 ERA in the majors so far, though that’s in a small sample of just 15 innings. He also has a 5.73 ERA in the minors since that trade, striking out 27.6% of batters faced but giving free passes at an unfortunate 14.8% clip.
The righty wasn’t set to be the most essential piece of the bullpen in Anaheim, but it’s a hit to their optionable depth, something valuable to teams over the long haul of a season. It’s also possible that Marte could find some more upside if he can rein in the walks, as Baseball America considered him the club’s #15 prospect at this time a year ago with control the primary concern on his profile. Unfortunately, he’ll now have to wait a while before he can continue his progress.
If there’s a silver lining for the club, it’s that this may allow them to open up a roster spot. Even if Marte is healthy after his four-week shutdown period, he will then need to have a delayed spring ramp-up period to get back into game action. If the club doesn’t think he’ll be back by late May, they could move him to the 60-day injured list, thus freeing up a spot on the 40-man roster. Some of the non-roster invitees in camp include Jake Lamb, Chris Devenski and Jonathan Holder.